Happy 2013! We’re grateful and thrilled to return to a new year of literary and musical bounty. This month, super talented writers from NYC, Boston, & Providence and a lovely songstress from Memphis/Brooklyn commune at Jimmys No. 43 to wow our socks off. Come toast to great books and a wonderful new year with us! 7pm.
Alex Gilvarry is the author of the novel From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, a New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice” selection, published by Viking in 2012. He has written for Vogue, The Paris Review Daily, and his essays have been broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered. Alex has been a Norman Mailer Fellow and he is the founder and editor of the website Tottenville Review, a book review collaborative.
Hester Kaplan’s second novel, The Tell, was published in 2013. Her first collection, The Edge of Marriage, won the Flannery O’Connor Prize for Short Fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories series. Her new collection of stories is Unravished. She is a recent recipient of an NEA, the Salamander Prize for Fiction, and the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Non-Fiction. She teaches in Lesley University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and in the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT. She lives in Providence, RI.
Michael Lowenthal‘s fourth novel, The Paternity Test, was an IndieNext pick for October 2012. His previous novels are The Same Embrace, Avoidance, and Charity Girl, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice title and a Washington Post Best Fiction of 2007 selection. The recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Wesleyan writers’ conferences, the MacDowell Colony, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Lowenthal has also been awarded Lynchburg College’s Thornton Residency and the James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize. He has taught creative writing at Boston College and Hampshire College, and since 2003 has been a core faculty member in the low-residency MFA program at Lesley University. A former board member of the literary human rights organization PEN New England, Lowenthal lives in Boston. He can be reached at www.MichaelLowenthal.com.
Sarah Manguso is the author, most recently, of The Guardians (2012). The Telegraph has named it a Best Book of the Year, calling it “an elegy for an entire generation.” Her previous book, the memoir The Two Kinds of Decay (2008), was named an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times Sunday Book Review and a Best Book of the Year by the Independent, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Telegraph, and Time Out Chicago. It was short-listed for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize and long-listed for the Royal Society Winton Prize. Her other books include the story collection Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape (2007), published as one of three volumes in McSweeney’s One Hundred and Forty-Five Stories in a Small Box, and the poetry collections Siste Viator (2006) and The Captain Lands in Paradise (2002), which was named a Favorite Book of the Year by the Village Voice. Honors for her writing include a Fellowship in General Nonfiction from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her books have been translated into Chinese, German, Italian, and Spanish. Her poems have won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in four volumes of the Best American Poetry series, including the forthcoming Best of the Best American Poetry: 25th Anniversary Edition. Born and raised near Boston, she was educated at Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and currently teaches writing at NYU.
“I’ve always leaned towards poetic simplicity and subtlety in my music,” songstress Clare Burson says, “wanting to express as much as I can with the fewest possible words and musical flourishes.” That minimalist approach is evident on ‘Silver and Ash,’ Burson’s third full length album, released by Rounder Records in September 2010 and featured in the New York Times and on NPR’S Weekend Edition and NBC’S Late Night with Carson Daly.
‘Silver and Ash’ is a concept album that imagines Burson’s maternal grandmother’s life in Europe, from before her birth in 1919 to her escape from Germany in 1938. It also explores Burson’s own struggles with rupture, silence, guilt, empathy, and continuity. For the project, funded by a stipend from a prestigious Six Points Fellowship, Burson visited her childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee, where she interviewed her grandmothers, and ventured to the homes of her ancestors in Germany, Latvia, Ukraine and Lithuania.
The album’s ten tracks, produced by Grammy-nominated Tucker Martine (R.E.M., The Decemberists), feature Mark Spencer (Son Volt) on guitar, Tony Leone (Ollabelle) on drums and Andy Cotton on bass, and Burson’s own lush string arrangements, showcase a voice Harp Magazine called “knowing… world-weary like Lucinda Williams’, expressive like Kathleen Edwards’, mysterious like Jolie Holland’s.”
A classically trained violinist, Burson began playing guitar and writing songs while studying history at Brown University. After college and a year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, Burson moved to Boston, and eventually back to Tennessee. She spent four years in Nashville before moving to her current home in Brooklyn, where she is busy raising her one year old daughter and working at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.